Buying a home in Spain? The investment process in 5 steps.

3rd January 2022

Buying a home in Spain? The investment process in 5 steps.

Updated: January 3, 2022

In this text you will find information that is important if you want to buy a  house in Spain. We have listed five steps here. From the very beginning to the completion at the notary. First briefly the 5 steps and further below you find each step in more detail.

Step 1: Determine the financial space. In other words, what do I want to spend? How much can it cost? Are you considering a mortgage?

Step 2: Finding the right home. Set up a property alert here

Possible questions one can ask oneself.

Step 3: Reserve the house of your choice.

Drawing up a preliminary purchase contract. (contrato de arras).

Step 4: Opening a Spanish bank account and applying for a NIE number.

What an NIE number is, is explained further below.

Step 5: Completion at the notary.


Important considerations:

What should you generally pay attention to when investing in a property in Spain?

Buying property in Spain is an important decision for many who dream of spending the perfect holiday in a pleasant climate or even starting a new life in this beautiful country.

For most, buying a home is one of the biggest investments of their life. That is often no different for a (second) home in Spain. It is therefore good to get guidance you can rely on during the investment process, which can be confusing. We have already mentioned the different phases in that process above. Below please find a more detailed explanation of each step.


Step 1: Important! The financial possibilities.

Before you start looking for your dream home in Spain, it is good to determine how much you want to spend on the investment of a house in Spain. Only a few can pay the purchase price and ancillary costs like taxes and notary fees from their own resources without any mortgage financing.

Banks in Spain require a contribution of at least 30 percent of the purchase price for the purchase of a property that is not your primary residence. With a purchase price of 250,000 euros, a minimum of 75,000 euros of equity must be brought along + the ancillary costs.

In addition to the purchase price, the ancillary costs should not be underestimated. The amount of these costs depends on the purchase price.

You could make an overview of your income and expenses and then determine your monthly financial margin. That way you can calculate how much you actually want to spend on your home in Spain.

In Spain, most banks have the rule that no more than 30 percent of the freely available monthly net income may be spent on loans. The maximum term of a mortgage depends on your age. The financing must be repaid no later than when you or your partner are 75 years of age. There are even some banks that only finance up to 70 years.

If you want to invest and take out a mortgage it is important to have insight in your financial abilities and to get in touch with at least 2banks.

Before you come to Spain, our team can help you obtain a pre-approved loan from a Spanish bank.

The big advantage of this is that when you have chosen a beautiful home, you will not have to spend time (3 weeks or more) afterwards to get a loan approved as you will already have pre-approved financing.

Do you want to know more about this? Feel free to make an appointment (without any obligations) to discuss your project by phone or in person in our office.

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Step 2: Finding the right home.

Now the finance side is clear you can focus on the search for the home that meets your every  need. You probably already have an idea what that house should look like and in which area you want to search.

Our team has a large number of properties (houses, apartments, villas, with or without swimming pool) in the portfolio along the Costa Blanca North,  Costa Blanca South and Costa Calida. However we also offer property in other areas via our network of construction companies and real estate agents.

Are you still looking for your dream home, then we are happy to help you. Click here to search our properties for sale on our website.

For example, the questions you could ask yourself in your search are:

Which area or village do I prefer?

How much living space do I want? Do I need a large home or small bolt hole?

How many (bed) rooms?

How big do I want the terrace or garden to be?

A characteristic Mediterranean home or new modern style construction?

Walking distance to the beach?  Or rather within walking distance of restaurants and shops?


We would also like to point out that it is good for you as the owner-user to think about the period of the year that you will use the house.

For example, do you only come to the house in winter? Than of course as much sunshine on the house as possible is attractive.

However, if you come every summer in August, a lot of sun may not always be pleasant.

Good to think about that too. Once again, if you want our help, we are here for you.


With regard to our service, we would like to refer you to the testimonials of our satisfied customers. You can view it on our website or on our Facebook page.


Are you an investor looking for rental income?

In that case you should look from the tenant’s perspective. The house must be suitable for the largest possible group, so that successful rental is possible.

What is important to you is that you do need to know for sure whether you can obtain a holiday rental license. It is wise to ask about this in advance. In some cities in Spain there are restrictions and not every property can be rented out for a short time through, for example, Airbnb or In most villages on the Costa Blanca, obtaining the rental permit is no problem. Our team can help you apply for such a permit.

Long-term rentals are generally allowed without licensing requirements.

Have you found a home that meets your needs? Then make an appointment or call. Our friendly team is at your disposal.


Step 3: Reserve the house of your choice.

When you have found the right home and we have reached an agreement with the seller on your behalf, the home must be reserved. A provisional purchase contract (contrato de arras) is then drawn up in which all essential information that will also be included in the notarial deed of sale is recorded. This deed of sale is called “escritura pública” in Spanish. A deposit of 10 percent of the purchase price must in general now be made. After signing the preliminary purchase contract and down payment, the house is removed from the market.

Usually the notarial deed is signed before the notary after 4 to 6 weeks. It can of course be done faster, depending on the complexity of the transaction. But longer periods can also be discussed in consultation with the seller.


The fastest transfer organized by our office was within 24 hours. This included the sale of a house without a mortgage and other debts and our office had previously requested all necessary documents from the relevant municipality for the seller. As soon as a buyer was found, we could go to the notary.

So you see, the speed of handling depends on circumstances. It can be short, but usually it is 4-6 weeks.


Step 4: Opening a Spanish bank account and applying for a tax number. (NIE number).

For living in Spain you need a Spanish bank account from which the monthly costs can be debited. Moreover, it is still customary in Spain to pay by bank check when signing the deed of sale. That bank check can be issued by your bank in Spain.  See further under Step 5.

Our team can open a bank account for you at a Spanish bank.


The tax identification number. This is the required NIE number. This number is valid for life and is a tax identification number for foreigners that allows you to file your tax return in Spain and also pay taxes. Not only if you have real estate in Spain, but also, for example, if you buy a car or connect utilities for your home, you need such a number.


How do I apply for the NIE number?

It can be requested from the Spanish Policía Nacional when you are in Spain. However, it is much easier to apply to the Spanish consulate in your country before coming to Spain. It is important to know that you must attend in person to that consulate to request the NIE. An appointment has to be made and it can take several weeks before you can go to apply for the NIE number. After that appointment at the consulate, you will receive the document by email after approximately 2 weeks.
Let us know in which country and city you live and we will provide you with the contact details of the Spanish embassy nearest to you.

Our office can also obtain the NIE number for you. We will need a notarial power of attorney to do so. 
Another option is to hire a gestor or lawyer who applies for the NIE number in Spain with a notarial power of attorney on your behalf.

Email our team on for more information about the process, requirements and the costs of obtaining the NIE number.



Step 5: Key transfer at the notary.

Finally, and not less important, the completion of the sale at the notary. The investment in your home in Spain is completed at the notary. Someone from our team will also be present and before the transfer takes place, the property will be reviewed together with you to confirm that everything is in order and as agreed in the preliminary purchase contract.

You must identify yourself at the notary with a valid passport or identity card. The notarial deed will be read by the notary.

As mentioned, someone from our team will be there and the words of the notary will be translated verbally for you. You can of course also ask questions if you wish.

After signing of the deed of sale, the notary can inform the land register and send a confirmation of sale to the tax authorities. The notary takes care of the payment of the property registry costs and the taxes. The property registry will be informed immediately by electronic means about the new ownership.

The notary fees, the costs of registration in the property registry and the transfer tax must be transferred by the buyer to the bank account of the notary. This payment can be made after the signing of the deed of sale.

And then you are the happy owner of a new home in Spain. Congratulations.


As you have already read; the investment procedure may seem complicated at times, but it is good to know how this all works. It is also good to know that with every transfer of property at the notary, someone of our professional team will be present with you. And that is not only on that day of completion. We are at your disposal during your entire search for your new home in Spain and thereafter. That is not an empty promise. That is why I would like to refer you, with some pride, to the reviews of our satisfied customers. You can find those reviews on our website or on our Facebook page.


And then one last comment regarding all the trouble caused by the Corona virus. Travel is not yet possible, but we can already think ahead. Our team has been working at the office for a few days already after 2 weeks of total lockdown. Due to the established guidelines, we are not yet able to receive our customers at the office and to view homes together with you. We can, however, contact you by email or telephone to find the property of your choice. Because these dark days will also come to an end.


Finding your perfect Spanish home

When buying a property - wherever that is - it is good to take into account the cost of living. Once you have made your calculations and you are sure that you can live comfortably, we can search together for the one property that suits your wishes, criteria and budget. More information about the cost of living in Spain can be found here.

On our website, you can use our search tool to help find the perfect Spanish property. You can select your desired property type, number of bedrooms and budget required to narrow your search. It is also possible to search by region Costa Blanca North, Costa Blanca South & Costa Calida, Costa de Almeria or sea front property Spain. Villas with private pool for sale in Costa Blanca can be found here.

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Would you like to be automatically informed about our homes for sale? Set email alert.


Kind regards,

Tom Bruijnzeel & the friendly team of nardia estate agents in Altea


Read here what others say about our services and services!

On our website you can find property for sale in Spain:
Villa with private pool Spain for sale
Penthouse with large terrace for sale 
New build villa for sale
Costa Blanca North villa for sale
Costa Blanca South villa for sale
Sea front property for sale Spain


Tom Bruijnzeel is the author of this informative article about The investment process in 5 steps and others on our website. Tom has a master degree in Law from the University of Rotterdam (the Netherlands), holds a bachelor degree in Business and Economics and is fluent in Spanish, French, English and Dutch with full business proficiency in German. In 2013 he started nardia real estate agency in Spain. The website is available to all who are thinking of investing in a property in Spain or already own a property and have questions about property tax in Spain, the correct registration of a property in Spain or the taxes due when selling a house in Spain.

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